An arrest has been made after a man opened fire on a restaurant with a stolen rifle in San Diego’s Hillcrest area Tuesday. The suspect has been charged with nine counts of attempted murder, use of a firearm in a felony, and, last but certainly not least, felon in possession of a firearm (it was illegal for him to be in possession of any firearms or ammunition).
The restaurant is located in the busy uptown neighborhood, which is home to much of the city’s LGBTQ population. Bystanders made 911 calls to report seeing a man in a trench coat firing numerous rounds from a rifle into the Asian-food restaurant, shattering its front windows, about 7:40 p.m.
Following the barrage of gunshots, the shooter lowered his weapon and walked off, Officer John Buttle said.
The suspect used a relatively standard-appearing AR-15 pattern rifle which does not appear to be California compliant.
Shattered glass and bullet holes at the Asian Bistro in #Hillcrest Several customers and employees were inside when a gunman began shooting. No one was hit by the flying bullets. Rifle found in alley a few blocks south of shooting scene. Man arrested. @10News pic.twitter.com/pctcb6buMz
— Mimi Elkalla (@10NewsMimi) February 13, 2019
The suspect reportedly ditched the rifle and the clothing he wore during the attack in an alley, yet was located by San Diego Police officers nearby after matching the physical description given by witnesses.
Thankfully, no serious injuries were sustained. The only casualty is the bistro itself, its windows now shattered and riddled with bullet holes.
The Hillcrest area is well known as the LGBT-centric region of San Diego. The LGBT self-defense group I founded and run, (Armed Equality) is based here in San Diego, so my phone blew up with notifications within minutes of shooting.
In seeking details, my research led me to the suspect’s Facebook account where the following post was found and shared with local law enforcement.
As usual, many of the local news reports are throwing around terms such as, “assault weapon”, “high capacity clip”, and “assault style ammunition” etc. I have no doubt the anti-Second Amendment factions in San Diego are gearing up to use this incident in all the usual ways. And unfortunately I am quite sure that some of those advocating for more firearm restricting laws will be some LGBT groups.
These are the same groups that irrationally despise what Armed Equality does and stands for. The same people who call myself and the many armed pro-Second Amendment LGBT members of Armed Equality “racist” simply for facilitating advanced training in unarmed self defense, armed self defense, medical training, CCW applications, etc.
I am extremely thankful that no one was seriously injured Tuesday. While looking through the suspect’s Facebook profile I got the impression that he has not been psychologically well for some time. As the screenshot above shows, he definitely appears to have harbored some serious anti-LGBT hatred.
Criminals don’t care about laws; they are one of many reasons why LGBT individuals who support the natural right to armed self defense often carry on a daily basis. We are Americans. We vote pro-Second Amendment. We deserve equal access to the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. Never again will we hide or live in fear. We stand strong; and we stand arm-in-arm with the Second Amendment community.
(Armed Equality was founded in response to the Pulse Nightclub shooting of which was the deadliest terrorist attack [and hate crime] on American soil post 9/11).